16 May 2016

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World

Author: Bill Nye (the Science Guy.  Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill!)
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

Science and technology are amazing things.  We live in a golden age.  Do you realize that Albert Einstein lived until 1955?  That's just over 60 years ago.  Most of what we know about science/physics/the universe/cosmology is really only a century old (at most).  And considering that a lot of people live into their 90s, just take a minute to think about what that means for the young generation right now.  Is your mind blown yet?

Okay, good.  Now keep that in mind.  Because it's time to face another reality, hopefully one you already know.  Climate change is real.  Don't go listening to Sarah Palin blabbing that she's just as much a scientist as Bill Nye is.  When she has a Bachelor's of Science degree and is the head of a science/technology non-profit we'll talk.  Until then, let's get serious.

Go outside.  I urge you to.  Seriously.  Take a walk in the park.  Take a kayak ride down a river or hike through the mountains.  Realize all that this world has to offer, and understand that it's humanity's home.  If we mess it up, we can't just go buy a new one.  We don't have the technology for that.  Every big change starts with a small step, and Bill Nye points out over and over again in this novel.  So let's be the change we wish to see.  Let's gooooo green!

I realize I probably have more of a scientific background than the average Joe, and there was still some science in here that made my head hurt (I'm talking about you, you heating and shrinking power lines and your current through, voltage across electricity).  There was also a lot of science I am already very familiar with.  But what I really like is how Nye took those fundamentals I have and transformed them to show how we can apply them (churning bubbles in the ocean to make a lighter covered surface to reflect more sunrays/heat?  MY mind is blown).

Now that we are homeowners, I'm excited to try to implement some of the ideas Nye talks about in this novel (solar panels, electric cars, water wells for our raised bed garden we just started, etc. etc.).  The book is engaging, and his own excitement about the topic is influential.  Instead of BEGLEY, I am sure my husband and I will be calling NYE as we join the competition to turn our house into a green science lab.  Though, I must confess, I doubt I'll be cutting holes in my garage to create natural convection to cool it.  The thought of busting through the concrete frame of my house is just a smidge too unsettling for me, engineering degree or not.

I do wish Nye had gone into a little more detail about reverse osmosis and the issue of brine, as well as the potential problems that can arise from large solar and wind farms on birds.  My hubby and I are both advocates for nuclear energy, and though Nye pointed out that nuclear energy could be a good solution if the technology got safer, I think it's important to note that none of the technologies we have now are completely foolproof, but that we'll never get the technology safer until we spend the time and resources to explore it as a viable option.

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